Friday’s Headlines: Who Will Stop Kim Ohanian? Edition

Kim Ohanian
Kim Ohanian

A little birdie dropped off the bylaws of Queens Community Board 7 to our posh cramped DUMBO offices yesterday — and we learned that Parks Committee Chairwoman Kim Ohanian had better hope she has good friends on the board.

Ohanian, you recall, is the CB7 member who grabbed a mic at a civic meeting back in May and said that pedestrians “deserve to get hit” if they are chatting on their cellphones as they cross the street. Ohanian, whose day job is at Mayor de Blasio’s Department of Environmental Protection, also called Hizzoner’s signature Vision Zero initiative “a joke.”

Why is Ohanian still on the board? Because Borough President Melinda Katz doesn’t have a substantial enough problem with Ohanian’s anti-pedestrian, anti-street safety positions to boot her — as she told our Julianne Cuba on Wednesday.

But there’s one last hope: The CB7 bylaws say that any member of the board can put up a motion at the next meeting demanding that Ohanian be removed. If two-thirds of the board members agree, she’s done.

So here’s hoping that at the next meeting in September there are 33 members of CB7 who do not believe that pedestrians “deserve to get hit” and who do not believe that the mayor’s vision of reducing road fatalities to zero is just a frivolous exercise.

OK, off the soapbox. Now the news:

  • A taxi driver killed a woman pedestrian on Eighth Avenue on Thursday, but the good news is he was charged with leaving the scene and failure to exercise due care. (Gothamist)
  • Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez wants to pour more city money into the MTA, but Council Speaker Corey Johnson is cautious (of course, he’s the one who wants to be mayor…and would miss that money being sent to Albany). (NYDN)
  • City & State offers a deep dive on why it has taken three decades for New York City to finally get started on making all sidewalks accessible to people in wheelchairs. And why will it take 15 more years to get it all done?
  • The Post’s David Meyer had a nice scoop about the MTA’s latest attempt to crack down on overtime abusers — get their pensions!
  • This would never happen if the Port Authority had made it easier to bike to LaGuardia. (NY Post, Gothamist)
  • Our own Dave Colon was on the FAQ podcast this week, discussing the state of NYC roads and, of course, tossing his hat (or, more accurately, sleeveless Sprewell jersey) into the ring for bike mayor.
  • There’s now a breastfeeding pod at Penn Station. (NYDN)
  • Not this former Postal Service worker is also a disgruntled MTA worker. (NY Post)
  • Laugh if you want, but Council Member Justin Brannan’s call for the MTA to provide free service on holidays is a great idea. Drivers get free on-street car storage on Sundays and holidays, so transit riders should get something, too. (NY Post)
  • As bad as it gets in New York, at least we don’t have telephone poles in the middle of our gorgeous new protected bike lanes like they do in Boston. (WHDH)
  • And, on a personal note, our old editor just saw the obit for legendary marathon cheater Rosie Ruiz and screamed out, “Dammit, there goes that ‘I, Tonya’-style biopic I wanted to do on her!” (NYDN)

Have a great weekend. If you’re not busy, join the Transportation Alternatives’ “Missed Connection” bike ride in Brooklyn to learn about all the gaps in the bike network where the city hasn’t kept cyclists safe. Should be fun! Details on the Streetsblog calendar.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Free service on holidays would match the value of the holidays received. We got our first car after experiencing that service on Christmas, when lots of people decided not to show up for work, in the early 1990s.

    We were so loyal. Trains, buses, commuter rail, taking hours. But were screwed once too often,

    We’ve at least rented cars ever since.

    If Brannan could figure out how the transit system could actually provide service that wasn’t worth zero on holidays — including in the suburbs — that would be worth a hell of a lot more than not paying for service you are better off not using.

  • MotoBX

    In what world are significant numbers of people taking their bicycle to the airport unless they work there?

    I pack lightly and am accustomed to wearing a pretty large/heavy backpack on my motorcycle when I do grocery shopping. I’ve thought of motorcycle to the airport ONCE in the 10 out so trips I’ve taken while owning the motorcycle (and it still didn’t really make sense).

    You honestly think a significant number of travelers would be biking to the airport? That’s like saying people really want to travel out to willets point before taking an airtrain back… to… the… Fucking Cuomo…

  • Ian Turner

    Do airport employees not deserve safe transportation to work?

    Many airports provide convenient passenger bicycle parking, and it is used.
    https://www.flysfo.com/to-from/biking
    https://www.san.org/to-from/Walking-Biking#117922-biking
    https://www.travelpulse.com/news/airlines/forget-uber-some-people-are-biking-to-airports.html

    It’s not like we’re talking about a major capital expense here. It’s bicycle parking.

  • Joseph Cutrufo

    As a native to the region, I feel obligated to point out that the bike lane with the telephone pole is in Somerville, not Boston.

  • Reggie

    Drivers get free on-street car storage on Sundays and holidays because most DSNY staff is on leave. If the mechanical brooms aren’t going out, there is nothing to gain by drivers moving their cars.

  • AMH

    We may not have utility poles in the middle of our bike lanes, but we have lots of gigantic steel bollards that are about the same size.

  • com63

    Significant numbers of people work at the airport. They have to go there everyday. Yes the number of travelers who would use it might be low, but it is not zero.

  • NYCyclist

    Why will it take 15 more years to get sidewalks accessible to people in wheelchairs? One reason: New ramps put in at a corner in my hood had to be ripped out and redone because the ramp bottom was a few inches above the pavement.

    Further, no way these ramps will last even 15 years!

  • Emmily_Litella

    Um I take trips from LGA with just a five pound bag. I live 3 miles from the airport, and the path is mostly off street. Can’t park there long term as far as I know. Don’t be so goddamn negative and condescending.

  • Driver

    Should we have safe travel and parking for bicycles at the airport? Yes.

    Will some people use them? Yes.

    Will it significantly reduce the number of people arriving at the airport by car with luggage? Not very likely.

    The headline is not really a logical statement.

  • Laugh if you want, but Council Member Justin Brannan’s call for the MTA to provide free service on holidays is a great idea.

    No, it’s a terrible idea. Depriving the transit system of revenue is a spectacularly wrongheaded thing to do, especially considering that fares are already far too low, and have been so for decades.

    As bad as it gets in New York, at least we don’t have telephone poles in the middle of our gorgeous new protected bike lanes like they do in Boston.

    We only have lightposts.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b444385e08e5719d7685de43d2ff117e6f55cd1383a0eb4fca196500b13f0f77.jpg

  • vnm

    Not really. This is the reason there are no alternate-side restrictions on Sundays and Holidays. But the reason drivers get free on-street car storage on Sunday and holidays is because the City Council passed a bill in 2005 because people attending church services complained they had to leave church to feed the meter. Now that one can pay for parking by app they should undo this legislation, which has many other negative consequences. https://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/12/nyregion/no-need-to-feed-parking-meters-on-sundays.html

  • LinusFale

    Bike to LaGuardia? Good one. I guess a side car for the luggage would make sense.

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